[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Most people know I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, and it’s about time I project the final roster and tell you where I think they finish and what futures make sense…
Let’s start with my projected depth chart looks like…
QB- Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfield, Cody Kessler
RB- Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles
WR- Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor, Desean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Marken Michel
TE- Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers
OL- Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisnewski, Andre Dillard, Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
DE- Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Daeshon Hall, Eli Harold
DT- Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Haasan Ridgeway, Tim Jernigan, Treyvon Hester
LB- Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier Hill, Nathan Gerry, Zack Brown, LJ Fort
CB- Ronald Darby, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Orlando Scandrick, Crevon Leblanc
S- Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Andrew Sendejo, Jonathan Cyprien
K/P/LS- Jake Elliot, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato
PUP List- Jalen Mills
OFFENSE– On paper this offense is elite. Carson Wentz is healthy, and I’m not going to speculate if he gets injured. Carson is healthy and when healthy with this receiving core and tight end group, they will be elite and score high 20’s as far as ppg. He MUST find a way to protect himself though, this team will gladly punt the ball away once in awhile to avoid heavy hits or an injury. He is surely an MVP candidate as the season approaches, his 2017 speaks for itself. The offensive line group is as good as it gets and what I love about it is, there’s finally plenty of depth. Vaitai and Wisnewski are veteran Super Bowl champs and Mailata and Dillard have looked very promising especially as pass blockers. Last year this team struggled to find consistency at RB. Jay Ajayi was injured and they found no replacement for Lagerette Blount. They were 28th in rushing yards per game and averaged just 3.9 YPC. Only 2 other teams other than the Eagles finished under 4 YPC. Enter Jordan Howard who has been one of the more consistent running backs in the league, also add in Penn State standout Miles Sanders and this group is much better. All in all if all things run well and injuries are at a minimum, this team will be a well oiled machine offensively that will be among the best in the league.
DEFENSE- This is where things get interesting for the Eagles. The DE position is interesting and the starters are impressive. There’s plenty of talent in Barnett and Graham. My concern is the depth, there is very little outside of those two and they need someone to step up and give them something. Vinny Curry was an odd signing and no one in preseason has really stepped up so far. I have some interest in Daeshon Hall. He’s looked solid so far and has great size at 6’6 265 and is really fast. The DT’s are as good as it gets. Fletcher Cox is one of the best players in the league and Malik Jackson is a road grader. Tim Jernigan was welcomed back with open arms and will help immensely. Look out for former Colt Haasan Ridgeway who the Birds grabbed in a trade for a 7th round pick. He had a great preseason game 1 against Titans starters. My concerns also lie in the LB core, Jordan Hicks is gone and Kamu Grugier Hill and Nigel Bradham are coming back from injury. One of the most important players on this defense could prove to be former Redskin Zach Brown. He had a great season last year and was miraculously released. The back end is encouraging. Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox look like they can play and adds great depth to a group devoid of Jalen Mills, who will likely start the season on the PUP list. Ronald Darby is poised for a big season off an injury and the starting safeties are as good as anyone in this league. I like the depth signing of Andrew Sendejo, a hard hitter who can tackle in the open field. This defense has a lot of potential. My big concerns going into the season are the linebackers and how they bandaid until Grugier Hill and Bradham and who emerges as the next big pass rusher behind Barnett and Graham.
This schedule is very easy and most of their tough games are at home. They get the Redskins and Giants twice. They also get the Jets, Dolphins and Lions. The Patriots, Seahawks and Bears all have to come to South Philly. From a league wide standpoint, they have one of the easiest schedules in the game.
I think there is value in grabbing them to win the Super Bowl at close to 15/1.. I think on paper maybe only the Saints are better in the NFC and this team will win this division. There is so much division right now with the Cowboys and with a young defense and limited QB, Eagles get it done. The concern comes deep in the playoffs, the Saints are GOOD. Really GOOD. It’s all gonna be about that number 1 seed. I just don’t know if you can go into the Big Easy and win. We’ll see.
Follow me as always on Twitter @jeffnadu